Can You Get Fired For Needing Workers' Comp Insurance?

Posted on: 24 July 2018

The need to file a workers' compensation claim for a workplace injury is not always without repercussions, but your job should not be one of those. No employer really likes to face the expense and upheaval that a hurt employee will bring but there are limits to what actions they can take. Read on to learn more about facing workplace repercussions for worker's comp claims.

It costs your employer in more ways than one

Most all employers are required by law to provide workers' compensation insurance to their employees but employers are not able to pass the cost of the premiums along to the employees and must cover that expense. Unfortunately, just like any other form of insurance, rates can rise with claims. Moreover, if you are hurt and unable to attend to work then the employer will need to either shift personnel around or hire a temp to replace you. That being said, you are protected against retaliation if you need to file a claim. You may also be entitled to compensation if the company is at fault and you file a suit with a personal injury attorney.

Fired at will

For workers in the U.S., you may be fired from almost any job at any time for no reason at all. Some workers have union protection and some have contracts but the vast majority of workers have no protection against being let go and the employer doesn't need to give a reason. This is known as "at will" employment.

Protection against job loss

You cannot, however, be fired because you got hurt at work and filed a claim with the employer's workers' compensation carrier. If an employer is able to do so then most workers would never seek help, which negates the entire idea of the help that workers' compensation insurance brings.

Some situations allow firing

If your employer is trying to fire you just for filing a claim, that is illegal and you will need an attorney to help file a case against the employer. Winning this type of case entitles you to an amount of money that is over and above what you might have originally been entitled to get. If the employer has a good reason for firing you that is completely unrelated to the workers' comp claim, however, that is another matter. For example, it might be just a coincidence that your claim was filed around the same time that a long-planned reorganization of your department happened that led to your job loss.

If you suspect a retaliation firing

It can be difficult to determine the true motivation for being fired but if you can connect being fired to your workers' comp case then you may be compensated. Speak to a workers' comp lawyer if you have reason to believe it was retaliatory and you may be entitled to your old job back, lost wages and perhaps even a penalty payment along with your workers' comp benefits.